People with disabilities

People with disabilities make an enormous contribution to European society, but often face barriers that prevent them from participating in society on an equal basis with others. Realising the core EU values of dignity, autonomy, equality and inclusion means removing the obstacles that hinder the full and effective participation of the 80 million people with disabilities living in the EU.

The EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights prohibits discrimination on the ground of disability and recognises the right of people with disabilities to benefit from measures to ensure their independence, social and occupational integration and participation in the life of the community. The rights of persons with disabilities in the EU are also protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). In 2010, the EU accepted the CRPD, the first time the EU itself has accepted an international human rights treaty.

FRA’s work on the rights of persons with disabilities is framed by the principles of self-determination, participation and inclusion set out in the CRPD. FRA examines where legal and social barriers exist, and identifies practices EU Member States have introduced to empower people with disabilities. FRA also develops human rights indicators to show how Member States are meeting their obligations under the CRPD.

As part of the EU Framework to promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the CRPD, FRA helps to ensure that the convention is implemented effectively and efficiently by the EU in its area of competence.

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Only 10 days till FRA’s Fundamental Rights Forum

The Fundamental Rights Forum 2016 is fast approaching with only 10 days left until the event begins on 20 June in Vienna. Over the course of four days, participants will look from different perspectives at three burning issues: refugee protection, inclusion and the digital age.

EU fundamental rights reports presented to Council

On 25 May in Brussels, the European Commission and FRA presented their reports on the implementation of the Charter and the fundamental rights situation in the EU to the EU Council’s Working Party on Fundamental Rights, Citizens Rights and Free Movement of Persons (FREMP).

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Findings available

Children with disabilities: targeted violence and hostility

This project will look at hostility, including violence, towards children with disabilities across the EU. It seeks to identify the legal and policy framework, as well as determine how information about such hostility is being collected. In addition, the project will look for examples of promising practices of how some Member States are addressing the problem.

Latest publications View all


Violence against children with disabilities

Easy read publication
This book will tell you about violence and children with disabilities. It looks at violence, where it happens, and why people are violent.

Violence against children with disabilities: legislation, policies and programmes in the EU

Children with disabilities face significant barriers to enjoying their fundamental rights. They are often excluded from society, sometimes living in facilities far from their families. They are also denied access to basic services, such as health care and education, and endure stigma and discrimination, as well as sexual, physical and psychological violence. FRA scrutinised the important but underreported issue of violence against children with disabilities, carrying out desk research and conducting interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders. This report presents the results of that research.

Fundamental rights: challenges and achievements in 2014 - Annual report

Annual report
European Union (EU) Member States and institutions introduced a number of legal and policy measures in 2014 to safeguard fundamental rights in the EU. Notwithstanding these efforts, a great deal remains to be done, and it can be seen that the situation in some areas is alarming: the number of migrants rescued or apprehended at sea as they were trying to reach Europe’s borders quadrupled over 2013; more than a quarter of children in the EU are at risk of poverty or social exclusion; and an increasing number of political parties use xenophobic and anti-immigrant rhetoric in their campaigns, potentially increasing some people’s vulnerability to becoming victims of crime or hate crime.